Reviewed by Lois Spangler
Second Grade Science Teacher
This revised edition of a popular and useful guide is directed toward students in grades 5 through 10. It's a valuable and essential guide for teachers at those levels, especially with its updated links and reference section.
The book is divided into three sections—activities, readings, and resources. Activities are organized under three broad astronomical concepts—Earth’s position in the solar system, Earth’s unique properties, and Earth’s characteristic phases and seasons. The 11 activities help students to understand concepts such as Earth’s seasons, light year as a distance, phases of the moon, and effects of greenhouse gases. Each hands-on activity comes complete with a student section and a teacher’s guide and is planned with materials that are readily available or inexpensive to purchase. Each activity is systematically presented so that students can complete it independently.
Lesson features include questions to determine students' preconceptions as well as post-assessment suggestions, planning charts for easy reference, and science safety notes. In the second section, there are 13 readings that are from one to three pages long. The readings provide background information on the underlying concepts required for understanding the activities presented in this volume. This is an excellent feature of the book.
There are four categories of additional resources—curricular and activities, software, websites, and NASA resources. Educators will find this large collection to be very valuable. I also recommend this book to elementary gifted and talented teachers and those using differentiated instruction.
Review posted on 6/6/2011